EXCLUSIVE-Tokyo Does Not Have a “Plan B” For Olympic Games Despite Coronavirus

By Ami MiyazakiTOKIO, Feb. 28 (Reuters) – Tokyo does not have a “plan b” for this year’s Olympic Games despite the alarm caused by the spread of the coronavirus in Japan and other parts of the world five months after the event, he said a senior official on Friday “There will be no change in the celebration of the Games as planned,” Katsura Enyo, deputy general manager of the Tokyo 2020 Preparation Office in the city government, told Reuters. Prepare for years and invest some 12 billion dollars, Japan seeks to calm fears that the Games will be canceled, postponed or moved to a different location due to the virus, although the number of new cases is declining in China, where the outbreak originated , the flu-like illness is spreading rapidly throughout the world and in Japan there are already more than 200 cases and five deaths.The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and former champion of Fencing Thomas Bach backed Tokyo’s position on Thursday, stating that his organization is “fully committed” to holding the Games as planned. In a telephone interview, Enyo said the organizers were “facing” the outbreak, but that the virus was not It will frustrate the scheduled event from July 24 to August 9. “We are not even thinking when or in what contingency we could decide things. I am not thinking of a change,” he said. POSTERGATION? Some Japanese media reported that the organizers were considering postponing the Games for six months to a year, but Enyo did denied. “There is no such debate,” he said, adding that the preparations were on track. Japan, however, is considering reducing the relay of the Olympic torch due to the threat of the coronavirus. Despite its optimism about the Olympic Games, Japan has Canceled numerous sporting events. The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants baseball team will play two preseason games in an empty stadium, while the Tokyo Marathon will take place on Sunday alone with elite runners.The country has also had more than 700 cases of coronaviruses and four other deaths in a quarantine cruise ship in front of Yokohama. Japan has built a series of new facilities for the Games, including a National Stadium of 156.9 billion yen ($ 1.420 million) and expected a large increase in tourism, a cornerstone of the economic plan of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The four-year sports event was canceled for the last time due to World War II, but doubts about Tokyo have risen since the Executive Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Toshiro Muto, said he was “seriously concerned” that the The virus could wait for them. In its most recent statement on the subject, the IOC said that preparations for Tokyo 2020 “continue as planned. do “and that he had” full confidence “in the authorities to take all necessary measures. (1 dollar = 110,3100 yen) (Written by Elaine Lies; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)



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